Before you launch a podcast, you should know that it takes time to cultivate a crowd who’ll listen to you. Beyond that, you’ll have to formulate great content, interview the right people, use the proper equipment and much (much) more. Then, you’ll need to publish and move on to marketing and promotion. It’s certainly no small feat!
Hosting a great podcast isn’t only about recording the content―you have to know how to promote it for people to sign up and listen consistently. In actuality, most people don’t know how to promote a podcast and, instead, rely solely on social media. While this strategy works on occasion, it’s not the only thing you can do to rack up podcast listeners and spread your brand across the internet.
Here are some more strategies to help people learn about your podcast.
Guide to Podcast Marketing
As you’re gathering things together for your new podcast, be sure to consider how you yourself find podcasts and what you like to listen to. Are you into podcasts about finance, life skills, romance, entertainment news topics, or something else entirely?
There are many different channels and apps dedicated to hosting your podcast that have their own unique audiences. Make sure your marketing strategy includes citations of your podcast in multiple directories and social media communities.
1. iTunes is Crucial to Your Podcast Popularity
While those numbers may be changing as other apps grow in popularity, Apple’s iOS has always had a firm hold on the podcast market. If you’re able to do well and get a high spot on the podcast lists through iTunes, then your chances of success grow exponentially.
Here are a few things to note on your journey:
- Sound quality is everything to listeners, potential guests, and other podcasters
- Eye-catching cover art will grab both existing and potential listeners as they search
- Record a few episodes at once in the beginning so you can release them gradually
- Get in the “New & Noteworthy” section on iTunes by consistently releasing new content at the beginning of your launch
- Nudge your existing listeners to review your podcast on all major platforms
- Use high-search volume keywords in your podcast descriptions
When marketing your podcast, you’ll want to get as many subscribers as possible. In many cases, iTunes looks at your content and subscribers to mention you on the front page or add you to a popular list for people to find.
2. Get Listed in Multiple Podcast Directories
While most audiences go to iTunes for new podcasts, there are emerging podcast directories that are even more popular. In addition, apps like Google Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube and Pandora are also popular places to post your podcast and get exposure to potential new listeners.
Some of the top podcast apps, platforms, directories and other places where listeners find shows are as follows:
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- Podcast Addict
Each podcast directory has its own set of rules to follow, but you’ll need to verify that your podcast meets these requirements to get approved and listened to. These requirements typically include the following:
- MP3 Recording Type: Must be in ISO/IEC 11172-3 MPEG-1 Part 3 (MP3) format with a bitrate between 96 and 320 kbps
- Cover Art: Best to have a PNG or JPEG format with a square ratio of 1:1 in a high resolution
- RSS Feed: It’s best to include your RSS feed with a covert art image, title, and description for all of your episodes
- Episode Title Length: Keep it under 20 characters to avoid getting your title cut off in search or lists
- Episode Length: Should not exceed 200MB or about 80 minutes at 320 Kbps, which is also greater than 200 minutes at 128 Kbps
3. Interview Influencers on Twitter and Instagram
This step is crucial as you want to pick potential podcast guests who not only have a decent follower count but an engaged following. You can leverage a guest’s audience to get pull quotes, promotional images, link shares and exposure.
When a guest comes on your podcast, you now have someone who wants to promote the podcast to their fans and followers, as well. This naturally brings listeners to your podcast without even trying.
As you message different influencers to interview on your podcast, make sure that you already have a podcast ready to link that pertains to their interests. You should also already have a few listeners. It’s always best to start with micro-influencers who are looking for exposure, but it’s important to pick guests who will fit with your podcast’s tone and audience type.
4. Share Everything on Social Media
You should create all kinds of media files to share on social media, including rich media, soundbites, video, teasers, images, and evergreen content that makes your podcast look incredibly entertaining.
For example, create an editorial calendar starting from the first update about your new podcast. Then, create quote images with excerpts from your show and promote it with 15-second video clips across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
When posting a new episode, you should tease it at least 24 hours ahead of the publishing time. You can also include some behind-the-scenes content and then share the podcast link as soon as it comes out. Then, reshare the podcast link multiple times throughout the week of publishing to get more views and listens.
In addition to this, create an email list for podcast listeners to subscribe and then share out new podcast episodes with your fans. Utilize email marketing strategies and tools to help send out regular updates!
If you have an existing website with a subscriber list, take advantage of that owned audience and keep them informed about your podcast. If not, create a podcast website right before launch so that you can capture your listeners and engage with them.
5. Release 3 Episodes at Launch
Everything for initial podcast promotion revolves around your launch, including what platforms you choose, the art you first display for your new podcast, and how you share it on social media.
It’s best practice to start off your podcast by releasing 3-5 episodes right at or around the launch. Podcast listeners typically binge content, and having more than just your first episode available is going to encourage them to keep listening.
The more they listen, the greater trust they will have in your content. It will also help push you into the “New & Noteworthy” section on podcast platforms, further accelerating your growth.
6. Convert Audio for YouTube and Other Social Channels
You should promote some of the most entertaining snippets of your podcast on YouTube and social media. However, it’s important that you use the right titles, such as “Interview with [Guest Name]” to grab the target audience’s attention. You can also use these videos to link and promote across all social media platforms.
There are also a ton of search engine optimization (SEO) benefits to hosting clips on YouTube. The best way to do this is to convert small audio clips to .mov files, then upload at a high resolution. You’ll want to add an interesting thumbnail, title, and description to your YouTube video.
The goal of this short-form content is to highlight the most entertaining pieces of your podcast and make them shareable. This helps push your content in front of a different audience and can help increase the listenership of your podcast.
7. Go Live for At Least 10 Minutes Per Day
You don’t have to go live and share all of your podcasts, but you can use social media’s live streaming platforms to promote your podcast and provide behind-the-scenes content.
For example, just turn on your cam and start recording to Instagram live or TikTok to discuss different topics before you start a podcast (or broadcast a specific segment with a guest for a short period of time). You’ll get instant exposure on live stories without technically having to do much.
8. Transcribe Audio for a Full Transcription of Your Shows
Tools, like Rev.com, or professional freelancers can help you transcribe audio quickly. And, in doing some research, you’ll see that most of the popular podcasters offer a full transcript of the entire show (but you may want to only publish highlights or important interviews in the show notes).
Transcripts are awesome for their SEO potential, and you can create pages of content for your podcast that coincide with lead forms or opt-ins.
9. Create a Giveaway Contest
Creating a giveaway for listeners to enter isn’t just a great way to increase engagement, it’s a great way to increase your reviews.
Ask people to enter your giveaway by leaving a review on iTunes/Google Podcasts/etc, and then have them mention you on social media. Not only are you going to improve your podcast on these platforms, but you’ll also increase your social presence. You’ll need a bit of a budget to create the gift or reward, but anything from product discounts to stickers to t-shirts can work.
If you don’t have the money for a giveaway, you can also offer a mention on the show, guest appearance on the show, or a shout out at the end of the show. Then market your giveaway on Instagram and link to your podcast to get people interested.
10. Do Guest Appearances on Other Podcasts
Once you start building your reputation as a podcaster, conduct outreach to get interviewed on other podcasts or cross-promote with other YouTube channels. If you have a decent following, you can market a podcast tour and do guest interviews on multiple shows to get more exposure.
To find podcasts within your niche, you can use the iTunes listing page and sort by categories, then find the podcasts that have the most relevance to your show.
Other Helpful Tips:
- Create a Patreon for your podcast to find your core target audience who are willing to pay to support you
- Start a public or private community group (such as a Facebook Group or Discord channel) to help support and grow your own listener community
- Make sure to tease and share clips on YouTube, Facebook and other video-heavy mediums for easy sharing and SEO
- Write blogs that go with your podcasts for SEO and website promotion
Create A Successful Podcast Marketing Strategy Today
Starting your own podcast is just the first step into the world of podcasting. It’s important that you not only come out with high-quality content but that you also promote that content properly to increase your listenership. (Promotion includes launching on major platforms for iOS and Android, having influencers on as guests, hosting meetups and so much more.)
If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to handling the promotion of your podcast, work with a team of expert digital marketers who will strategize and create a marketing strategy that’s guaranteed to increase your following.